December 2, 2011

A Unique Case in the History of the World

While reading Mitt Romney’s No Apology: The Case for American Greatness a few days ago—a very interesting read by the way—I came upon this passage:

During my tenure as governor of Massachusetts, I had the opportunity to join a small group of people in meeting Shimon Peres, Israel’s former prime minister and current president. In casual conversation, someone asked him what he thought about the ongoing conflict in Iraq. Given his American audience, I expected him to respond diplomatically but with a degree of criticism. But what he said caught me very much by surprise.

“First I must put something in context,” he began. “America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been war, the nation that is victorious has taken land from the nation that has been defeated – land has always been the basis of wealth on our planet. Only one nation in history, and this during the last century, was willing to lay down hundreds of thousands of lives and take no land in its victory – no land from Germany, no land from Japan. America. America is unique in the history of the world for its willingness to sacrifice so many of its precious sons and daughters for liberty, not solely for itself but also for its friends.”

Everyone in the room was silent for a moment, and no one pressed him further on his opinion about Iraq. I was deeply moved. And I was reminded of former secretary of state Colin Powell’s observation that the only land America took after World War II was what was needed to bury our dead.

Okay folks, a quote within a quote is, if not a unicum, at least a rarity in the blogosphere, but if this isn’t worth a blog post, I don’t know what is!


  1. That’s a wonderful quote and a great reminder to all those (Americans and non-Americans) who are forgetful!

  2. Well ok Rob, it's a nice story but let's not forget all the European, colonial land grabbers, gold rushers, and the massive Indian banishments and exterminations at one time in American history..

  3. Thanks for posting this, Rob.

    I'm an american soldier, an american
    Beside my brothers and my sisters
    I will proudly take a stand
    When liberty's in jeopardy, I will always do what's right
    I'm out here on the frontlines, sleep in peace tonight
    American soldier, I'm an American soldier
    Yeah, an American soldier, an American
    An American soldier

    (Toby Keith, excerpts from his song, "American Soldier.")

  4. @ Martin A.
    How many innocent people died in the bombings of Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki? How many in the Mexican War, Phillipine Insurrection, and the Indian exterminations?

    Why do we think we're somehow different, better, more free and right and good than anybody else? We're not.

  5. Of course nothing is all good or all evil. Perfection is not of this world, and the U.S. is no exception from this point of view.

    Overall, however, America is unique, a model of selfless commitment to the ideals of freedom and human dignity. Or, as Byron put it, "America is a model of force and freedom and moderation—with all the coarseness and rudeness of its people."

  6. God Bless the the whole world, which is on the brink of destruction. May all realize this and live accordingly...!